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Vatican Swiss Guards arrive at the Hall of Pope Paul VI for their swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican on Friday. The Associated Press


District of Colombia

Minimum wage set for housekeepers

WASHINGTON — Responding to concerns about the working conditions of some Capitol Hill aides, Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday announced a $45,000 minimum annual salary for House staff and put a resolution to a vote next week that would open the way for assistants to join a union.

While Capitol Hill jobs can command big paydays, the job often involves grueling hours and low wages in an area where housing costs can leave little money for necessities.


Goodwill actually finds an ancient bust

SAN ANTONIO — A marble bust that a Texas woman bought for about $35 at a Goodwill store is temporarily on display at a San Antonio museum after experts determined it was a several-year-old sculpture centuries disappeared in Germany since the Second World War.

The bust, which art collector Laura Young found at Goodwill in 2018, once belonged to the collection of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, according to the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is temporarily displaying the piece.

District of Colombia

US Sanctions Korean Crypto Firm

WASHINGTON — The United States announced on Friday that it was sanctioning North Korean digital currency mixing company Blender.io, which the country allegedly uses to launder stolen virtual currency and support cybercrimes.

The sanctions, imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, are the first ever imposed on a digital asset mixing service. The new sanctions also underscore the growing use of digital assets to perpetuate illegal acts by state actors.



Hotel explosion kills at least 18

HAVANA – A powerful explosion apparently caused by a natural gas leak killed at least 18 people, including a child, and injured dozens on Friday when it ripped through the exterior walls of a luxury hotel in the heart of the Cuban capital.

No tourists were staying at the 96-room Hotel Saratoga in Havana because it was being renovated, Havana Governor Reinaldo García Zapata told the Communist Party newspaper Granma.


Amnesty: Russia must face justice

KYIV — Amnesty International says it has documented numerous war crimes committed by Russian forces, including arbitrary executions, bombings of residences and torture.

“The pattern of crimes committed by Russian forces that we have documented includes both unlawful attacks and intentional killings of civilians,” Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said in a statement on Friday. “It is vital that all those responsible, including at the top of the chain of command, are brought to justice.”


Minister plans to approve settler homes

JERUSALEM — Israel is poised to push ahead with plans to build 4,000 settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the interior minister said Friday, drawing warnings from “serious consequences” of the Palestinian Authority.

If approved, it would be the biggest step forward in settlement plans since the Biden administration took office. The White House is opposed to the growth of settlements because it erodes the possibility of a two-state solution to the conflict.

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